What happens in this subject?
In the Dance Department we aim to engage and challenge students throughout their time at DSTC. We believe that through developing students’ confidence in performance, working as a team and giving opportunities for creative exploration, we can prepare them for the adult world. We believe in excellence and inclusion at all levels, recognising that students thrive in an environment of supportive high standards. Creativity and independence are attributes we aim to nurture from KS3 to KS4 in the Dance Department.
Through carefully tailored programmes of study including choreography, improvisation, performance, dance technique and analysis of professional dance works we enable students to discover styles and practitioners who engage and excite them. We firmly believe that watching and taking part in live dance performance is integral to teaching and therefore we ensure that there are regular opportunities to become involved in trips, workshops and productions.
As a Department, we believe that feedback and refinement are key to success and students are used to pushing themselves beyond their own expectations. Many hours outside of lessons are spent rehearsing, watching and choreographing dance and due to this commitment, a real passion for dance with their peers is fostered. Through this mutual dedication to excellence and a focus on valuing the individual, we hope to give students the confidence to succeed at school and beyond.
Building on from KS2 or KS3
Students will have experienced Dance through Physical Education lessons at primary school. They will have previously learned of the history of dance, and its cultural impact on the world which we continue to build on when they arrive at DSTC in Year 7.
We hope that they will be able to build on their skills of reflecting on different styles of dance, influenced by different cultures.
In KS3 our intention is to enthuse students about dance, building their confidence and creativity at each stage. Through exposing them to a variety of dance styles and genres, choreographic and performance tasks, we want them to become confident communicators through dance, able to work effectively with others and express themselves as an individual.
KS3 students will have a dance lesson once a week. Each term we will study a new topic. These cover a full range of different dance styles to educate and to inspire our students. These include: Cultural dance styles, Ballet, Pantomime, Jazz dance, Contemporary dance, cheerleading, Choreography skills, Music Video, Street dance, Dance Battles, Musical Theatre and Dance by Chance (the roll of dice techniques).
In addition students also develop an appreciation for the Arts, learning about the history of dance and the work of professional icons. These include MGM Musicals ‘Singing in the rain’ Gene Kelly, Pop icon, Michael Jackson, Jazz dance styles, Bob Fosse, Reality TV stars including George Samson, Diversity and Attraction (Britain’s Got Talent), Darcy Bussell, Oti Mabuse and Len Goodman (Strictly Come Dancing) and Maddie Ziegler (Dance Moms).
KS4 Dance is currently offered as a BTEC at Level 2 Performing Arts – Dance Pathway. In unit 1 of this course students will gain knowledge of the history, impact and developments of dance, with a focus on events such as World War 1, (Dust – Akram Khan), The Miner’s Strike (Coal- Gary Clarke), MGM Musicals (Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly) and The Political oppression in South America (Ghost Dances- Christopher Bruce).
In Unit 2 they develop their own dance and performance skills through workshops, rehearsal and performance. Learning time management and social interaction skills.
Finally in Unit 3 they explore their own creativity and artistry, working together as a team to create a dance piece that tells a story and educates the audience, inspired by a particular given theme or stimuli. This is then produced using costume, lighting and set design skills.
Through the close study of professional dance works from a range of genres including contemporary and ballet, we encourage students to reflect analytically on the effectiveness of these works to portray their message or narrative through the constituent features of theatre e.g. costume, set and lighting design and accompaniment. They are also required to choreograph their own original dance works, develop their technical, expressive and performance skills and work collectively to develop exciting and thought provoking performance pieces.
In preparation for a performance students can attend after school rehearsals, interventions and complete home study to include creating material, designing and producing (such as costume/set design in Art or DT and Music devising or editing using the ICT software).
Aspirations and KS5
Many students attending DSTC have not had the opportunity to attend Performing Arts classes previously. We have links with Centre Stage Academy (who hire our facilities) and they offer our students after school workshops and termly scholarships to attend their Performing Arts sessions. In addition we have guest teachers who deliver dance workshops and we offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities in Creative Arts.
Students can attend our weekly drama club to further develop their Acting and Singing skills. This is a fun session aimed at social interaction and confidence building. They can also attend dance rehearsals for showcases and audition for our dance company team.
Those interested in extracurricular activities can take part in our annual dance and talent showcases, or audition to be part of our elite ‘Cascade Dance Company’, who perform in the wider community representing DSTC at community events such as ‘Once Upon a Time’ at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, and Chance2Dance at The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks.
Students will have developed lifelong skills through the art of dance, as well as their own confidence and social skills. While maintaining their fitness and keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Future career opportunities can include; Dancer, Singer, Actress, Director, Choreographer, Technician, Dance/PE Teacher, Drama/Music Teacher, Presenter, Children’s Entertainer.